Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“We were down  and I just felt like I had to do something — dive on the floor, knock people around, get the crowd involved,’’ O’Neal said. “I think I helped out a little bit.’’
“I thought Shaq was the difference in the game with his energy,’’ Rivers said. “Forget size. Size and energy. He won the game for us tonight. He did all the little things — crashed the glass, he was physical, he blocked shots.’’
But before last night, O’Neal was a crunch-time spectator, seeing fourth-quarter action in just 17 games and averaging a little more than four fourth-quarter minutes.
Last night, he was the spark the Celtics had been missing for three quarters. He scored 7 points in the fourth to go with three rebounds and two steals.
I despise efforts like the one we witnessed last night. They piss me off so much that I refuse to acknowledge any positives.
But I gotta commend Shaq…
There were a couple of loose-ball/rebounding sequences where Shaq gave maximum effort. I'm talking effort like we haven't seen from him in 5+ years. I swear he was… sprinting.
I don't want Shaq wasting performances like that in mid-January versus teams like the Pistons. He must save it for the playoffs because there aren't many of those games left in the tank.
On Page 2, Jermaine O'Neal chooses rehab over surgery.
"We had a discussion at halftime, Jermaine, myself and our medical staff, and have decided that we are not doing surgery," Ainge said. "The surgery that we were considering, by the way, was just a cleaning out. There's not ligament or cartilage damage that was going to be prepared, it was a cleaning-out process. We decided against that, we'll take the next four weeks to do nothing but work to build up his glutes and quads, with the sole purpose of that. So he'll be rehabbing to build strength in his leg to get ready for the end of the season.
"Jermaine had a lot to do with the decision, and [team physician] Dr. [Brian] McKeon was fine with it. It's not an easy decision, and I think that Jermaine feels like he overdid it. He's got some bruising from the bone-on-bone he has in his knee. He just needs to let that calm down, then build up the strength in it."
Bone on bone? In the knee? I'm pretty sure rehab isn't going to help that.
Here's the good news – when Jermaine returns, Kendrick Perkins will be back. Even though Shaq is 38, JO will be dealing with bone-on-bone and Perk is playing with a new knee, the Celtics will have enough bodies at the 5 spot.
The rest of the links:
Herald – Charlie V. puts KG trash talk behind him | Shoot, give it to Ray | CSNNE – Allen still Cs go to shooter in clutch | West has brace removed | Marquis (sprained ankle) to play Friday | ESPN Boston – Ray of confidence | What's my age again?